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New Earth Man wrote:

I mean don't get me wrong, building them without Stamina means the characters can mow through a hell of a lot more mooks but still - seems a little unbalanced in the character's favor.

They don't need stamina. They are built with different rules than PCs and have larger hp pools than equivalent level PCs.

Stamina is a system for players to regain hp without needing a healer during an adventuring day. NPCs don't need this, as they don't have adventuring days. Their health pool is bigger to be a CR appropriate challenge without needing stamina.

Don't think that just because the NPCs don't have the same systems as PCs that they are somehow handicapped.

So I'm not extremely familiar with the mystic, but what do you gain by going melee? Mystic is 3/4 BAB, has the lowest hp/stam gains of any class, and doesn't get any advanced weapon proficiency. You'd need to spend three feats to get access to heavy armor and advanced weapon proficiency and specialization, or take a level in blitz soldier and delay your casting progression by a level.

Additionally, you need to put points into Str, which outside of melee hit and damage is a terrible stat. No one needs extra carrying capacity unless you're using multiple heavy weapons, and athletics is pointless when a multitude of cheap items, spell, and feats grant fly, swim, and climb speeds.

I get that there's no cleric or paladin in this system who can mix it up in melee while still casting healing and utility spells, but making a melee mystic feels like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

It would definitely work, and be cool when it's successful, but it is expensive to unlock.

Pull the Pin requires Improved Combat Maneuver, and Gravity Surge explicitly gains no bonuses from Improved Combat Maneuver. Solarians get no bonus feats, so spending two feats for a single trick is very costly.

Gravity Surge requires a full round action, and outside of rare situations with a group of very clumped enemies, a grenade exploding with half of its normal radius is going to be less valuable than simply attacking.

It's a fun idea, but spending two feats and a stellar revelation to only be useful against clumped enemies with visible grenades equipped seems excessive.

Be aware, you are going to get hit with this build. A lot.

Heavy armor does not compensate for negative dex in Starfinder. The best low level heavy armor starts with a +2 max dex bonus, and that increases to a +5 bonus at high levels. You are expected to have a decent dex score to get the most out of heavy armor.

And even if you do have good dex and heavy armor, CR equivalent enemies are still going to hit you about 60% of the time. With negative dex, that's going to be closer to 75%.

Being a melee build, you are going to be the target of more attacks than your ranged party members because you don't have the luxury of staying behind cover and taking potshots from a defensible position. You are going to be a damage sponge with your low AC in melee.

Now maybe your mystic healing spells can counter all the damage you'll be taking. Even so, if you're having to spend your spells to compensate for your build's weaknesses, you're not going to have much left to off your party.

I agree that this class is objectively better than any of the PC classes by a significant degree. If this remains an NPC class that's fine. NPCs play by different rules and should be challenging for players to fight. That said I would never allow a PC to play this class under any circumstances.

My issue with the core class design is how the concept of the class (a champion of cosmic Good) doesn't have any effect on the mechanics of the class. All the class's mechanics just work in all situations, regardless of the moral implications or alignment of the enemy. I feel like the excess of power you've given this class should be tempered with restrictions based on their nature as paragons of Good. Can't Smite non-evil creatures, can't get bonus saves against non-evil sources, ect.

Outside of the strict Lawful Good requirement, there's nothing in this class that makes it play like a paladin. Instead it gets universally powerful abilities that could be added to any other class without conflict because none of the abilities have any real tie to the paladin concept.

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EC Gamer Guy wrote:
All this because he didn't mention level as a requirement for fusions in his post, only being a weapon per being on the weapon charts. Minor error but worth the entertainment.

Stop. You were wrong, and you acted like a petulant child when you were proven wrong. Everyone in this thread can see you were mistaken but still doubled down when you got called out. There's no saving face for you at this point. Accept the loss and move on. This thread is done.

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I think the big problem with making a swift action +2 AC action is it gives free stats to any build that doesn't care about full attacks. Casters especially benefit, since they don't need to full attack to cast spells.

I don't see why builds that don't full attack should get free AC while builds that focus on weapons only get it situationally.

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If you cannot figure out how to take Starfinder's tech progression and tweak it thematically so it fits into other genres, you need to question your qualifications as a DM.

Yes, if you're going to use Starfinder rules to run a game, you need to keep weapon progression. All 'martial' builds are balanced around that progression, and to change it in any way meaningfully impacts the balance of the whole game.

However, the weapons are just numbers when you strip away their sci-fi descriptions. At this level, for this cost, you get this many dice of damage. That's all you need to preserve the balance of the game. Everything else is pure fluff.

I can think of half a dozen different ways to reskin those numbers for different genres and settings just off the top of my head. Is the reasoning behind my reskins somewhat ham-fisted and game-y? Absolutely. But guess what? So is the base system.

Give me a scientifically sound explanation for why the level 20 laser rifle does almost 10 times the damage of a level 1 laser rifle, while still being the same size, weight, and using the same ammunition. That's ridiculous, but it's just a game so we accept it. If you can't think up plausible reasons why modern rifles, or ancient muskets, or magical crossbows can't scale in damage to preserve the mechanical balance of the system, you probably shouldn't be DM'ing in the first place.

I think you could maintain some semblance of balance if you banned full casters from getting any weapon proficiency or specialization.

Full casters in Pathfinder, once you're beyond the lowest levels, are expected to either cast or delay every round of combat. If you give a full caster access to scaling ranged weaponry, they can also contribute meaningful damage at no resource cost.

If they Mystic and Technomancer can pick up longarm proficiency and specialization but the sorc and arcanist cannot, then at least the starfinder casters can contribute solid damage every round without spending a spell slot to do so.

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This thread has served its purpose and needs to end.

The math has been done, extensively, by multiple people. There is unquestionably a small discrepancy between solarians and other classe as far as saves are concerned.

Is this discrepancy balanced out by the advantages the solarian class has over other classes? This is very much a matter debate and opinion.

However, all the good arguments have been made for both sides of the issue. Most of the posts here are just rehashing concepts which were discussed several pages back.

Since this thread has grown so large, I think it's very safe to assume the developers have seen it. Dev responses on these forums are rare, so there's no point waiting around for an official response.

The issue has been brought to light, and all sides have been argued. Time to move on instead of wasting time repeating ourselves.

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Herald wrote:
Ikiry0 wrote:

No, a given adventure is only as combat heavy as you make it. You can pretty conclusively work out what percentage of the rules are combat-related.

I also stand by my point that if you make a purely non-combat Starfinder adventure, you are not using the game remotely to it's strengths and will be leaving characters out of the game/non-contributing. Much like how you COULD make a combat-focused Gumshoe game but it's a waste of the system.

That's your opinion. But its not up to you how to tell others how to play the game.

It's not an opinion that making a Starfinder campaign without any combat is a poor use of the system. It invalidates the combat classes and Starfinder doesn't have enough social systems to do anything beyond the basics of roleplaying. That's a fact.

No one's saying you're not allowed to run that campaign, but don't act like it's somehow a subjective opinion that the rules of Starfinder support a purely social game just as well as it does a combat game.

Well this thread has taken an extremely worrying turn.

SwampTing wrote:
In other news, all classes have strengths and weaknesses and your favorite class can't be good at everything.

Great post. Really adds to the discussion.

A melee solarian's strength is they are a durable, mobile melee threat. They don't do skills, spells, or ranged combat.

However, part of being an effective front line fighter is being able to resist the spells thrown at you as you charge into enemy lines. However, because the solarian is the only class with two primary stats not linked to saves (Str and Cha) they have worse saves than every other non-caster class, and no class features to bolster this weakness.

No one here is asking for solarians to do everything well. They just want to do front line durability as well as the other classes do front line durability. As it stands now they objectively, mathematically, do not.

The fact that you're arguing that a melee solarian should even be in graviton mode using underwhelming abilities like Crush, Gravity Hold, and worst of all Black Hole (objectively the worst power solarians have) makes me think you don't understand the basics of a melee solarian build.

The opportunity cost for going into graviton mode and using abilities which will do nothing 50% of the time when enemies make their saves against your low DCs is almost never worth it.

It is far better for a melee focused solarian to stay in photon mode 100% of combat doing the one thing they are good at: melee damage. The actions you would waste and damage you would lose messing around with graviton CC abilities is just never worth it.

Most things a solarian should do in combat (not can, should), a soldier can mirror through abilities or feats. A vast majority of the unique effects solarians can do are never worth spending your limited revelation slots on because an unreliable effect is not worth dropping photon mode and spending standards on not attacking.

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J4RH34D wrote:

Ok. What does the soldier have to give up to be able to use the revelations that the solarian can use?

How about the fact that the soldier has 2 less class skills than the solarian and does not gain sidereal influence.

The solarian is better at a bunch of stuff when compared to the soldier. Yes the soldier can be better at combat and keeping his defenses up.

You very much sound like all the classes should be capable if exactly the same things at exactly the same level.

Different classes have different strengths and weaknesses. Deal with it

Exactly what things is a solarian meaningfully better than a soldier at?

Is it DPR? No, they stay extremely competitive from 1-20.

Is it survivability? No they'll have nearly identical AC and the soldier will have better saves.

Is it mobility? No the soldier and the solarian get exactly the same improved charge mechanic, and while the solarian gets it sooner, the soldier has +10 movespeed.

Is it skills? Barely. They both get the exact same number of skills per level, and with their excess of feats, a soldier can get Skill synergy at any point to get exactly the skills they want. Sidereal Influence gives a solarian a d6 on two skills, four skills after level 11. No solarian or soldier will ever come close to being as useful with skills the other classes, regardless.

Is it class abilities? No. The solarian gets a revelation every other level, but since melee solarians never go into graviton mode, it's really one every four levels. Many of these revelations are simply replicating class abilities soldiers get themselves through abilities or bonus feats(improved charge, extra melee damage, full attacks as a standard action, DR, ect).

So where do solarians outshine soldiers to much that they deserve to have bad saves as a weakness? What solarian ability no soldier can replicate balances no solarian maintaining balanced saves without sacrificing their primary stat?

From a purely mechanical perspective, putting all flavor and roleplaying preferences aside, I don't see why solarians must choose between their primary stat or standard fort and will saves. I don't see their numerical strength that requires this weakness to balance it.

Vidmaster7 wrote:

Eh your argument doesn't have enough weight to speculative and situational. I could also say hes going to be in melee so casters are going to have a harder time hitting him with spells so he doens't need that 10%.

Also his saves are only worse if you make them that way.
don't bump your str and charisma once each so its only 5% (they will still do great damage even if you dock their strength by 2 maybe even 3 times and you should be able to loss a point or 2 of charisma bonus as well without major consequences.)

I'll tell you what would make me believe you do a write up of their stats compared to others keeping their saves where you feel they need to be and then see if they are crippled in combat because of it.

It's a pretty easy comparison. You take a standard melee soldier build and make a melee solarian with the same saves and compare. Both classes perform the same role in combat, and thus will get hit with the same amount of spells in their career. Since the DPR difference between a optimized level 20 melee solarian and soldier is a whopping 3 points, I don't think it's worth mentioning.

Human soldier:

Attributes // Saves // To Hit // Resolve
1: 16/13/12/10/12/10 // (3/1/3) // +4 // 4
5: 18/15/14/10/14/10 // (6/3/6) // +9 // 5
10: 19/17/16/10/16/10 // (10/6/10) // +14 // 9
15: 20/18/18/10/18/10 // (13/9/13) // +19 // 11
20: 20/19/19/12/18/12 // (16/10/16) // +25 // 15

Human solarian:

Attributes // Saves // To Hit // Resolve
1: 14/13/12/10/12/12 // (3/1/3) // +3 // 2
5: 16/15/14/10/14/12 // (6/3/6) // +8 // 4
10: 18/17/16/10/16/12 // (10/6/10) // +14 // 6
15: 19/18/18/10/18/12 // (13/9/13) // +19 // 8
20: 20/19/18/12/18/14 // (16/10/16) // +25 // 12

So to maintain the same saves a melee soldier achieves without any sacrifices, a melee solarian must sacrifice their primary stat. They lose resolve points, save DCs, and the ability to play a face character.

Is this 'crippling' in combat? No probably not. Would it feel bad to build such a sup par solarian to maintain a 'balanced' save array compared to other classes? Absolutely.

Edit: Had to readjust for a math error.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
If I switch between con and wisdom as my last choice (so for sure str dex and chr(and on some build you don't necessarily need a lot of charisma) then switch back and forth for wis and char) overall aren't I really only low my saves by 2 each at most? so 10%?

However, that's 10% lower saves on a class that's holding the front line or chasing down enemy casters (since the only way to interrupt spells is with an AoO now).

So a class that's typically going to be a prime target for enemy spells simply by nature of being melee gets worse saves - even if only by 10% - than all other classes. That seems like a clear design flaw to me.

Shinigami02 wrote:

As I'm pretty sure that's in response to the guy that flat said he's against races that are good at one thing... I think that sensation that what's being said is wrong and not fun is exactly the goal he was going for.

Hmmm, you could be right. I am suffering through a head cold today, and it's entirely possible my ability to detect sarcasm in text form is diminished.

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Kain Darkwind wrote:
Couldn't you just tell your players that you don't like the idea of them playing melee specialists if they use races that make ok melee specialists? Let them know that you expect them to play against type, and that they need to make sure they aren't trying to gain benefits for their choices.

This advice leads down a very bad path IMO. It's advocating that the DM ban against players, not against mechanics.

If a DM thinks a race is OP or doesn't belong in their world for any reason, they can ban it. But to say "This race is only banned if you're going to use it in a build that would take optimal advantage of its stats" is saying "You must build characters the way I want you to build, and I will ban you from choosing certain options to enforce it."

No matter how you look at it, that's simply not fair, and any player that's done to would be completely justified in feeling discriminated against.

MagicA wrote:

so is it better to keep using the solar weapon until it levels up

or use a better melee weapon when you find one?

I mean, if you kill an enemy with a good melee weapon, obviously use it. However, I don't see the point in every spending the significant amount of money required to buy a weapon that beats out your solar weapon progression.

There's so many useful upgrades, augments, and items you can get in Starfinder I don't think it's worth spending money on weapons when your class comes with a scaling weapon mechanic.

Yes, if make it so the artifact allows the solarian to use their revelation every two turns, but they don't have to and don't make a save unless they do, that would be a lot more reasonable. It's still not a very strong effect but it's at least a net positive effect.

I'm most familiar with the solarian class, so I'll speak to that one at least.

It's absolutely not worth the cost. The save DCs are very high. A solarian who hasn't taken improved fortitude and iron will won't be hitting a 50% chance to make them until around level 10. So the player must assume they're going to fail those saves more often than not until high levels.

In exchange for being exhausted and unequippable, the solarian MUST use their revelation every other round. They do get a choice by level 9, since they get two revelations at 1st level, and two more at level 9. Until level 9 is reached, that's already unappealing. Black Hole is straight up terrible, and while supernova is better, it hits allies and is less valuable against opponents with good reflex saves or fire resist. There's no chance I as a solarian would ever exchange progressing exhaustion for cycling supernova and black hole every other round.

But by far the worst property is the fact that the artifact FORCES the player to switch attunement every other round. A melee solarian never wants to be out of photon mode, and a ranged solarian never wants to be out of graviton mode. If this part didn't exist I doubt a solarian would ever use the item anyway, but with its inclusion it becomes a serious detriment to be avoided at all costs.

You need to back waaaay of on forcing classes to use their mechanics in certain ways. Solarians don't want to switch modes in combat every other round, and they don't want to use their revelations every other round either. If you keep the high DCs on the items bad effects, you need to give it strong bonuses players can use as they choose, not as you dictate.

Yeah that's an easy TPK just waiting to happen. Regardless if they're level 2 or 3, you're throwing four players up against four enemies, one of which would be considered a hard encounter by itself.

Take the mechanic or the two 1/2 mooks out. Giving the players an advantage in action economy will go a long way to helping them not die horribly.

Remember, just like all d20 games, at lower levels die variance is much more significant. Even if your players are tactically perfect (which they never are) a string of bad rolls on their part or good rolls on yours and they're in trouble, even in a normal fight. In a combat as dangerous as you've made bad rolls will absolutely result in a TPK, and that's a very negative experience for the players.

No group ever said "Hey do you remember that villain who was higher level than us with a bunch of mook helpers who killed us even though we made all the right tactical decisions but our rolls were just slightly sub-par? Wasn't that a fun campaign!"

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Don Hastily wrote:

Okay maybe saying it's OP isn't the right thing to say.

How about I say this:

I don't like the design of the Shobhad because it will only be used by people who want to do insane melee builds and nothing else. I like my players to be more creative than that,


What's insane about it? It gives reach (easily gained by reach weapons) and move speed (easily gained from feats, upgrades, augments, ect). It doesn't give more overall benefits than races normally give.

Why can't your players choose a race that does melee well when they want to make a melee character? Do you disapprove of any race that applies to only one role? Seems arbitrarily restrictive.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Yeah, I am noticing that and making the changes needed. I don't like how Paizo have made both Great Fortitude and Iron Will complete requirements, but, well their bad call I guess.

In fairness, this is mostly only true if you don't raise Con and Wis pretty often as you level, something most Classes can afford to do easily, especially if going with ranged combat.

On the subject of races, the Haan and Shobhad both get Int penalties for a total of +4 in Solarian-required stats and are thus pretty solid Solarian options if you don't mind low Int (especially shobhad with their 40 foot movement speed and reach). Sarcesians aren't too bad either (with a net +2 in Solarian stats, reach, and skilled).

I like the Shobhad a lot. Extra movespeed is always good, and the reach makes Step Up and Strike no longer mandatory feats.

The int penalty is annoying, but it's the only realistic dump stat for a solarian. Every other stat is tied to our class or modifies saves (which are apparently very important considering spell DCs and the lack of easy save modifier boosts).

Why in the nine hells didn't the devs give solarians their cha to saves? If you're going to shove cha down the classes' throat, at least make is less of a garbage stat.

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Don Hastily wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Not really, no.

The +4 Strength doesn't mean much when you have ability score caps and you still only get to distribute 10 points on a 1 for 1 basis. It actually kind of limits you, forcing you more towards melee builds when you might want to try something else with it.

Four arms is not overpowered since it doesn't give you additional attacks or anything.

Large size without any bonuses to show for it can actually be a hindrance. There are likely going to be a lot of ships and urban areas that simply weren't made for someone of your size.

Not even reach is as big a deal nowadays as it once was, since you can only ever get one attack of opportunity.

They are powerful, but due to their available roles being more limited, and all of the reasons mentioned above, I don't think they are strictly better than any of the core races.

It's the melee builds that I am worried about. The kind of player that will pick the Shobhad will not be interested in doing anything other than a blitz soldier.

I know four arms doesn't give you extra attacks, but having two, two handed weapons always at the ready is a big deal. easily switching between ranged and melee.

yeah, one aoo/round, but that aoo is going to be happening a lot.

I just feel like all that, plus 6 HP and 40 speed is a lot to give one beastly creature.

You still can't get more than 18 str at creation, so the bonus str isn't better than any other race that gives str.

Four arms isn't much of an advantage. Sure you CAN hold a bunch of weapons, but can you afford all those weapons? Probably not. Keeping more than your primary weapon up-to-date (which means getting a new one about every 3 levels) is an unnecessary expense when there's so many other important things to spend wealth on.

Extra move speed is good, but the bliz soldier and solarian get an improved charge as a standard action early on. A melee character with only 30' move is still going to be able to reach their target when they can move 3x their speed and still attack.

The reach is, IMO, the biggest advantage. Reach means an enemy you close with cannot take a guarded step away and be out of your threatened area. Suddenly Step Up and Strike isn't a mandatory melee feat. This is actually a bigger deal for the Solarian, since soldiers get so many feats, mandatory feats are less of a burden.

Is the race good for melee builds? Obviously.

Is it overpowered? No.

whew wrote:

When clearing out hostile-infested buildings, someone has to be in front. If nobody builds for melee, then an all-ranged team is going to provoke AoOs while doing their huge DPR. Likewise, ranged characters don't get to make their ranged & spellcaster foes provoke AoOs.

I'm not convinced that ranged soldiers pull their weight until level 11, when the campaign may be nearly over. But maybe I'm just overreacting to my level one experiences, where the ranged soldiers don't do more damage yet to make up for their lack of skills.

Of course a party needs a mix of roles to be effective. If a party was all melee they'd have serious problems too. Can't compare roles by saying a party of just one role would suck so it's somehow less valuable based on that logic.

And yes, making any judgement on comparative power at level one is a bad idea. Damage in Starfinder scales significantly as levels increase and more powerful weapons become available. A melee soldier starts heavily front-loaded with 1.5x str to damage at level 1. However, that str damage is hardly going to change as the campaign progresses, while weapons scale rapidly in damage after level 6.

Plus, a ranged soldier is always going to get more attacks per combat than a melee soldier, that's simply the nature of ranged vs melee. Due to the to-hit bonuses available to a ranged soldier, the majority of those hits will land and the ranged soldier will stay equivalent to the melee soldier in damage.

Finally, by level five when a dex soldier has taken some skill feats, they will be doing significantly more than the melee soldier out of combat. A high dex and a good metal stat allow for significantly more valuable skill choices than a melee soldier who must spend many points on str and con, neither of which modify any good skills.

Alright, let's ignore the edge cases where players are in a surprise round and use OoC readied actions to act in the surprise round. While I don't think this situation is as impossible as some seem to think (players WILL find ways to explain how they're 'aware' of incoming surprise attacks enough to justify a readied action going off) it's easy enough for the DM to deny.

A more common issue is players using OoC readied actions before normal combat to gain a better position in the initiative than they could otherwise.

Player with +0 to initiative: "I ready to attack anything that threatens us in the next room."

*door opens, players and enemies become aware of each other, initiative is rolled*

*Player with +0 to initiative gets a 7 on initiative*

*Enemy with highest initiative attacks*

Player with +0 to initiative: "My readied action is triggered, so I attack immediately after the enemy attacks and move to that place in initiative."

In fact, it's a good tactical idea for the entire party to do this any time they breach a room. If you roll higher than the enemy, you lose your readied action but it doesn't matter, you go before them as normal. But if you roll poorly, you can always jump up to right after the quickest enemy.

As far as I can see, there's nothing to stop players or NPCs from using OoC readied actions to override low initiative rolls. This is straight up exploitation of the initiative rules, and the only logical result of allowing readied actions out of combat.

If you allow your players to do it, you must make your NPCs do it, and then the start of every combat becomes a mess of triggered readied actions, initiative becomes meaningless, and the game is needlessly complicated.

The initiative system may be overly simple, but throwing it out the window so players can ready actions out of combat is not worth the hassle.

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Letting players ready actions outside of combat should never be allowed. The ONLY purpose for doing so it to subvert the initiative system, and if you allow it in any circumstance you've thrown out the whole point of using initiative and opened the door to extremely cheesy play.

Readying an action is not an action in the way all other actions are. It doesn't represent your character doing something. It represents your character preparing to react to a trigger outside of initiative. If players can do this out of combat, surprise rounds and initiative as a whole ceases to function properly.

If players feel threatened outside of combat, what's stopping them from readying the total defense action triggered by the appearance of the enemy every round they don't need to perform another 'standard' action? If they become aware of an attack in any way (in other words they see an attack coming even an instant before it lands) their full defensive action goes off before the attack. Suddenly they are no longer flat-footed and instead have a bonus to AC against that attack, as well as acting before the enemy next round in initiative.

Why should a DM allow such a blatant exploitation of turn order?Players can tell the DM they "get ready for trouble" all they want. The initiative system still exists. It doesn't matter if you're expecting trouble, initiative determines how quickly you react. If the enemy attacks without player's awareness, it doesn't matter how 'prepared' they are, the enemy still get a surprise round. Abusing a game mechanic standard action outside of combat initiative doesn't somehow nullify the mechanics of surprise and initiative.

Just imagine the results if you allowed NPCs to use readied actions outside of combat. Every enemy NPC would walk around with total defense readied in case of an attack. Every combat, the first player to attack triggers total defense in every enemy who hasn't acted yet before their action goes off, an next round they all act before that player. It's ridiculous.

Initiative exists for a reason. It's not an elegant solution but it's a simple one. Allowing readied actions to override initiative is just opening a meta-gaming can of worms. Either you rule on a case by case basis for when it's allowed and waste game time as players constantly ask for permission to break initiative rules, or you always allow it and give NPCs the same tactics. Of course, NPCs don't have to declare readied actions to the DM, so the players will quickly come to resent what they see as DM cheating when the NPCs always have the ideal actions readied before each combat. It's a no-win situation.

There is no rule that allows readied actions outside of combat by RAW, and nothing to support it by RAI as it directly conflicts with other mechanics.

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Kalderaan wrote:
Space McMan wrote:

Are you building a str or dex soldier? If dex, you can easily keep your str and con low and boost a single mental stat to at least +2 on creation.

I recommend wis, as boosting your will save and perception checks is universally useful no matter what your party is doing.

Good points. I haven't gotten that far yet. Is a Dex soldier viable? Most builds I have seen are STR/DEX even (16/16) or close to that.

Dex sharpshooter soldier is probably the most effective combat build in the game right now. Dex is still the god stat, and the sharpshooter gets several to-hit bonuses that makes them the most accurate build for ranged full attacking.

In practical terms, this means the sharpshooter will land more hits than any other class, and when soldiers get triple attack at level 11, it just gets stupidly dominant.

While the strength soldier is fun on paper with its huge DPR and awesome visual imagery, a melee build requires sacrifices. You sacrifice attribute points to maintain a good dex and con and strength, leaving no room for a good mental stat. You sacrifice a lot of full attacks to move into melee with your enemy. You sacrifice a lot of health when the enemy constantly focuses you as the only exposed target while the rest of your party hides behind cover 100' behind you.

A sharpshooter makes none of those sacrifices. The damage they lose from not getting their primary stat to damage is made up for in all the extra attacks they land from being able to full attack on almost every turn of combat.

And with the excess of feats available to a soldier, boosting several skills to be useful out of combat (stealth, pilot, perception, sense motive, ect) is quite easy. It's a brutally effective build.

Are you building a str or dex soldier? If dex, you can easily keep your str and con low and boost a single mental stat to at least +2 on creation.

I recommend wis, as boosting your will save and perception checks is universally useful no matter what your party is doing.

Matches wrote:
Corwynn Maelstrom wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Matches wrote:
Corwynn Maelstrom wrote:
Math. That's 1 more point than a human can have even if they take 10s in all four other stats.
Am I missing something that says you don't roll ability scores anymore?
It's the same place that says you don't wear bell bottoms anymore.

I can't think of any reason for the question in regards to rolled stats. You can start with six scores of 18. The only reason you would need to know if specific scores are possible is in reference to the point buy rules.

But if you are talking about rolling, I suppose that the answer is: because they didn't roll that high...

It was in regards to Voss' previous statement that humans can't have stats that high, which made zero sense to me if you can still roll stats, which you can as an alternate method rather than point buy. I read over that section thoroughly today. lol

Still don't understand your question then. Why can't a human have an 18 and a 16? Because you can't buy that high with the new point buy system.

If you're rolling stats, then sure that can happen. But since almost no one thinks rolling stats is a good idea, no one will assume you're considering rolled stats as a factor when asking about stat blocks.

As a DM, my NPCs never focus fire a PC unless 1) the PCs position so poorly there's only one visible target, or 2) the enemy NPCs are a trained fighting unit with experience working together.

Why? Because focus fire isn't fun for the players. Focus fire will almost always take a player out of a fight within two rounds, and they are left spending the rest of the combat stabilizing, retreating, and healing up. No one enjoys getting focused out of the fight because the GM is using optimal hive mind strategies with every group of mooks he runs.

Now, if the players do something tactically stupid like leaving one player exposed while the rest are hidden (as in full cover, not partial) then they should be punished for that mistake. Even the stupidest opponents will focus down a lone threat.

Additionally, if the opponents are a seriously dangerous unit or an actual hive mind species then having them focus fire will seem immersive to the players, instead of just feeling like the DM is picking on them again.

This is especially true if the party doesn't have class abilities for healing. It's the DM's job to balance combat, not the players. If a party doesn't have a healer, they don't deserve to be punished by having to throw all their money at health potions. Easily-refilled stamina points exist for a reason.

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

As it stands the 2-hander does more damage and has the same benefit of a Solar Weapon with the Solar Crystal installed.

There is also the issue that the Solar Crystals cost as much as full weapons do.

Crystals actually err toward being a little cheaper than their immediate counterparts. Not by a super significant amount mind you, but there is a semi decent discount by and large plus any savings on batteries.

Where is this decent discount you speak of?

At ilevel 8, the three options for solar crystals cost between 9.2 and 9.8k. The melee weapons for ilevel 8 range between 8.5 and 10k.

At ilevel 11 the crystals cost between 24k an 26.2k. The melee weapons range between 22.6k and 26.3k.

At ilevel 14 the crystals run between 69.8k to 81.3k and the melee weapons run at 64.4k to 79.5k.

So when you actually compare the most expensive crystals vs the most expensive melee weapon at various ilevels, you see that the price difference is extremely close, and sometimes it's the melee weapons that are cheaper. And when you compare the cheapest options, the melee weapons are almost always cheaper.

There is a saving on batteries, but that is going to be a negligible cost as players level up, loot piles of batteries from enemies, and get a ship able to charge them for free.

I don't see any valid argument that the solar weapon saves a meaningful amount of money over the course of a standard game.

Excaliburproxy wrote:

If I am not mistaken, quick draw lets you switch weapons and attack, right? it lets you stow the weapon as a swift and then draw as part of a move action. It pays to have a few different weapons to attack different defenses, deal different damage...

Nothing in the feat description mentions stowing as a swift, just drawing as a swift, drawing thrown weapons in a full attack action, and drawing a hidden weapon as a move. I checked the basic rules for drawing and stowing weapons, and there's nothing stating that if you can draw as a swift, you can stow as a swift too.

And even if it did allow that, dropping an item is still a free action. Unless you're in a weird situation where you're afraid of losing any gear you drop, dropping a weapon as a free and drawing as part of a move still gets you the same action economy as using Quick Draw.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

As Don't go into Power Dome A notes the problem here is that you're just forcing Solarians to use advanced melee weapons other than their Solar Weapon, not actually making a balance change at all. They already do more damage (only a little, but still) add in Weapon Fusions not being allowed on Crystals and there's no sufficient reason to ever use a Solar Weapon.

And that's pretty disappointing. So you've basically made the game less fun for no reason.

Exactly this. Ignore solarian vs soldier damage numbers, that's irrelevant to this argument. Looking solely at advanced melee weapon compared to the solar weapon WITH a equal level crystal equipped and the price and damage is always roughly equivalent, with the two-handed advanced melee weapons almost always being the winner.

So if advanced melee weapons do more damage at the same price point, and nothing in RAW straight up denies weapon crystals having fusions, why would you deny solarian players this option? Why make their defining class feature objectively inferior to standard weapons, when allowing it simply lets them stay on par? As DMW said, you're just making the game less fun for no good reason.

Excaliburproxy wrote:

Oh man. For some reason I thought no one started with heavy weapons.

Regardless: I think you are overestimating your ability to be "useful" with your skills given the fact that so many classes give skill bonuses in this game. Does mystic? I know Solarian, Mechanic, Technomancer, Envoy, and Operative all do. Let all those guys be good at skills while you get to be good at murdering fools and not getting murdered. There are plenty of solid feats: extra resolve is nice, especially early on. You would be well served by side step and quick draw as well.

Why would I want Side Step of Quick Draw?

Side Step lets you take a guarded step when an opponent misses their melee attack, but you can't guarded step outside their threatened squares, and you can't take a guarded step on your next turn. What purpose does that serve for a ranged character?

Quick Draw lets you draw as a swift instead of part of a move. That was good in Pathfinder, because you could quickdraw then full attack. However, in Starfinder the full attack action consumes your entire turn. I don't see much appeal spending a feat to draw on a swift instead of as part of your move when either way you only have a standard action to attack. The only time I see it being actually helpful is if you're using multiple small weapons and want to draw two weapons in one turn.

As for skills, the more players who have high scores perception, sense motive, and stealth, the better the party is as a whole. Relying on one person to see things, detect lies, or scout stealthily means you're one bad roll from missing something important. And a high piloting skill gives you a fun roll in starship combat, instead of just being relegated to gunner.

Excaliburproxy wrote:

On the con front: your constitution increases your stamina points specifically. As such, I would implore you to remember that your higher con mod effectively increases your character's built-in "healing" in addition to your your "max hp". Every +1 to your con mod translates to you regaining your level in hit points every time you take your ten minute rest.

Also, I would lean away from skills if you already have other guys filling those niches. In particular, you could spend those two skill feats on heavy weapon proficiency and versatile weapon specialization.

Be the big beefy meat shield that you were born to be.

Umm...I'm building a sharpshooter soldier. As such, he's already proficient and specialized with all weapons, because soldier. I don't want to be a meat shield, I want to be a ranged damage dealer. Did you even read my build?

Even if I was building a melee soldier, I'd much rather have better modifiers to useful skills than a few more stam points added to my already considerable soldier health pool.

baggageboy wrote:
Looks pretty good to me, one thing I want to point out is that you're taking both improved initiative and blitz as your sfs. While more initiative is never bad you already have a very high initiative with your dex and either one. Also being 1st isn't as important as it was in Pathfinder as you and your enemies both soak more hits. You aren't likely to assassinate anyone or be assassinated in 1 turn anymore. So you might consider switching either the feat or your second sfs for another option.

That's a fair point. I'm aware there's no real one-shot potential in Starfinder with conventional tactics, but I still don't think it's a bad idea to maximize your odds to go first. Enemies are flat-footed and thus easier to hit, and you get time to find cover before anyone can attack you.

Part of the reason I picked it was due to most of the level 1 styles being underwhelming. The only other one that tempted me was Guard, as it would give me +1 AC from improved dex and allow me to wear any light armor w/out worrying about armor penalties. Getting 10 movespeed and 4 initiative just sounded more fun, honestly.

Hijiggy wrote:

As far as combat feats I think Improved Unarmed strike can come up as useful. You threaten squares when holding your longarm. Then could combine it with Stand Still (Again if you're just trying to fill up feats).

Plus if the story takes away all your normal weapons you always have a back up weapon.

Not fantastic but if you just want to get some extra feats that ones fun.

Reasonable. At the very least it's a feat worth putting into my adaptive fighting lineup. If the DM is a fan of gun control laws on civilized worlds, that gains a lot of value.

baggageboy wrote:
Also add improved stand still, you're really looking at 3 feats, but it is an option worth considering especially since they are I'll combat feats.

I looked at that chain, but I don't love it. It's almost unusable until you get the improved version (Stand Still you need to land an attack vs the enemy's AC+8, Improved bumps it to AC+4). While my strength score doesn't suck, it won't be close to the numbers of a melee-focused character. Plus, I don't really want enemies stuck standing next to me anyway.

Cathulhu wrote:
You know you can put skill points into skills besides class skills... You just don't get the +3 bonus. So... More intelligence is still very useful in the skill point front.

Don't be condescending, of course I know you can put points into skills besides class skills. However, Starfinder has the highest skill DCs relative to the points you get per level of any D&D-like I've played. Most opposed checks are 15+1.5xCR, or even 20+1.5xCR. Difficult checks start at DC 20, and most have additional modifiers to increase DCs even further.

I'm guessing the devs wanted operatives and envoys to feel special about being able to reliably make skill checks, while ensuring even those classes never get to the auto-succeed point commonly hit in Pathfinder. Of course, that means if you're just throwing skill ranks into non-class skills with maybe a +2 modifier from the associated attribute, your success rate is going to be abysmal.

Unless it's a vital knowledge skill no one in the party has or intends to get (in which case your party sucks) I don't see much point investing in int for skill points to put into checks you're unlikely to make. I'd much rather boost a mental stat that improves a save and boosts two of the most rolled skills in the game.

mike roper wrote:
Let's not go with too many absolutes. One hit point is actually worth one hit point >_> and well I agree soldier has Alot of hp it's still a increase of 7% and no one has too many hp right? That said your toon

Yes technically one hp is one hp and thus isn't actually worthless, but you can absolutely have too much hp. Every hp you gain from con is two attribute points you didn't put somewhere else. You can max con and be a bit harder to kill, but you are trading out modifiers to skills for that very small bit of extra health. Personally I think almost every player would rather have better skills - translating to more active rolls with improved chances of success - than a few more passive hp that may never have any impact on the game. More fun, and more guaranteed value.

mike roper wrote:
Why Enhanced Resistance: Fire over say DR? Just wanting to get your mind set. Also agree 16 Dex should be fine with full bab

The devs have already said the DR is a misprint and will be getting significantly nerfed come the first big errata pass. However, it sounds like they're leaving the energy resistance unchanged. Assuming that's the case, I'd rather have FR equal to my level than a small amount of DR. Fire damage is very common (lasers, plasma, several fire melee weapons, spells) and I suspect will continue it's trend from Pathfinder as the most common energy type. Thus FR seems like a strong survivability boost.

Cathulhu wrote:
Constitution? More stamina makes you harder to kill. Intelligence? More skill points.

As I said already, skill points are mostly useless on a soldier, since even after getting skill synergy twice, there's only five valuable skills available. Survival and Medicine are taken when I increase my int because there's no better class skills to take, and I'm not going to put skill synergy in my build a third time.

Con is a waste in this game. As a soldier, I get 14 hp per level. One more point per con modifier is worth nothing. Con goes to no skills, so the only good thing it's doing is modifying fort saves, and I can just take Greater Fortitude if I don't think my already good fort save and spellbane is doing enough.

Kagerage wrote:
magic missile has to have a different target per bolt though does it not?

No. This has been discussed at length, and while the spell doesn't have the best wording, a careful reading proves you can hit the same target with multiple bolts. You just can't use a single bolt to hit multiple targets.

Cathulhu wrote:
It's a very high wisdom for a class that doesn't need it, and has a high will save already... I'd suggest if you insist on this build, that you pick up Connection Inkling. I prefer a decent intelligence and Technomantic Dabbler, but to each their own.

If I take something that gives me spells, I lose Spellbane, which is an amazing feat. Don't feel like trading +2 to saves vs spells for a level 1 spell and 2 cantrips.

Where else should I put the points? There's no real point pumping dex to 18 at creation unless the rest of the party is full of high mental stat characters. Cha is a terrible stat unless there's no other face, int just gets more skills which the soldier can't use because their skill list is garbage (hence why I get skill synergy twice) so that leaves wis, which gives me will saves, perception, and sense motive, all three of which are universally valuable.

Created this soldier as a backup character for when the DM kills my fun but unoptimized character and I want revenge. I like how much wisdom you can get in this build without sacrificing much for it.

Major Tom: Human LN Soldier 11

1: 13/16/10/10/14/10
5: 15/18/10/12/16/10

Theme: Ace Pilot
Fighting Style: Sharpshooter / Blitz
Gear Boost: Laser Accuracy / Bullet Blast / Powerful Explosive

1: Weapon Focus: Longarms / Skill Synergy: Stealth & Perception
2: Versatile Focus
3: Spellbane
4: Improved Initiative
5: Skill Synergy: Sense Motive & Piloting
6: Adaptive Fighting
7: Enhanced Resistance: Fire
8: Improved Critical
9: Sky Jockey
10: Slippery Shooter
11: Great Fortitude

Skills: Max ranks in Acrobatics, Piloting, Stealth, Perception, Sense Motive, at level 5: Survival, at level 10: Medicine.

I ran out of good combat feats pretty quickly and would welcome suggestions (don't suggest Deadly Aim, I've seen the math on that, it's a trap).

I'm a little torn on the stat distribution, as putting 18 dex at creation is tempting, but I think I prefer then higher wis score for perception and sense motive. It gives the soldier some utility out of combat as the scout and lie detector. Will depend if the party has those roles covered by other characters.

For weapons, plan on buying the best laser longarm for primary, a good projectile rifle for FR enemies, and looting all useful heavy weapons for fun times.

At level 11, this character will have a very accurate triple full attack, a +14 to initiative, and saves of 10/9/11 (+2 vs spells). Out of combat they will be a top tier pilot, and a solid scout, tracker, and lie detector.

It says nothing about a specific energy type. If you do energy damage, you reflect energy damage. Now, how this works with weapons that do partial energy and partial kinetic I don't know. Probably a DM call at this point.

However, it's either all or nothing. Nowhere in the text does it support just reflecting some types of energy.

What you target is irrelevant. The wording on the feat is

make an attack roll with a nonarchaic melee weapon that deals the same general category of damage (energy or kinetic)


The type of armor you're targeting doesn't determine what type of damage you are doing. You can still target KAC but if the attack is doing fire damage, DR/- won't lower it, but fire resistance would. If you're doing energy damage, you can reflect energy attacks.

Yes. You can even do that with just Plasma Sheath when photon attuned.

Because at low levels there's a lot of weapons, armor, armor upgrades and augments that will do more for you than a +1 modifier to your primary stat. It can wait.

Notice in the examples you gave, there are specific rules requiring standard actions in place for those items.

There's no such rule, either in the description for jetpacks or the more general rule for armor upgrades, that requires the standard action item activation rule be applied.

The crux of your argument is that jetpacks and forcepacks fall under the subset of items that require standard actions to activate. However, because that standard action rule is so vague (many don't require activation, but some do and unless otherwise noted it's a standard) and there's no indication that jetpacks must be activated at all (in the gameplay sense of the word activate), you can't just assume they do. Especially when every other armor upgrade provides very clear rules about action activation costs in the upgrade description when necessary.

Now maybe I was too presumptuous when I assumed it was RAI that the items work that way. Maybe jetpacks and forcepacks are supposed to be much less useful in combat than I assumed. However, since nothing in the armor augment rules or the jetpack description demand active activation by the player, I strongly feel that you're in house-rule territory if you require players to spend actions turning them on.

Specific trumps general.

There is no specific text in jetpacks or forcepacks that mentions activation, nor is there any rule that states an item using charges must spend actions to activate.

You are using two general rules, one that explicitly states it doesn't apply to all items, and the other that explicitly states it applies to duration (like jetpacks that give you fly speed per round, not per activation) or activation and are deciding, based on nothing more than your own interpretation that because it uses charges, Jetpacks and Forcepacks must be an activation item.

Based on RAW and RAI I don't see your interpretation holding up.

There is nothing in RAW that dictations any items which consume charges must be activated with an action, and nothing in the armor upgrade rules to indicate that any upgrade with no explicit action cost automatically defaults to the 'standard action activation' rule.

As for RAI, it seems ridiculous to assume that the devs intended players to slap standard action activation on items which provide passive bonuses. Putting a standard action on Jetpacks and Forcepacks breaks them, making them and any other passive item a complete waste of money if the player must spend a standard to access its passive bonus.

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